Data Commons covers many topics, from Demographics and Economics to
Emissions and the Climate. The benefit of aggregated data from across multiple data sets is that it now becomes much easier to build connections across these data sets. Here are some of our favorite data excursions …
some alarming, some sad, but always illuminating.
Max projected summer temperatures for US counties (RCP 4.5) (source: NASA)
Climate change is not just about reducing carbon emissions. It is also
about adaptation to the change that is already happening. The change in
temperature is not as simple as 1.5°C vs 2°C vs 2.5°C. These are global
averages aggregated over a period of time. At every one of those levels,
there will be places that become much hotter and places that become
colder. The timing of peak temperatures also changes.
Explore what temperatures might be according to the CCSM4 model :
Water withdrawal trends in California (source: USGS)
Scarcity of water, for crops, animals and humans, could well be one of
the things most at risk from climate change. California and
the Southwest are some of the biggest consumers of water. However,
we can see that utilization is improving. California in
particular, has seen irrigation water consumption go down, while
increasing agriculture yields. Household water
consumption has stayed flat over the last 30+ years, while population has gone up substantially.
However, digging deeper we find that in Imperial County (the third highest county in terms of water
consumption), the use of groundwater has risen sharply even though overall water consumption, including surface water
use, has gone down.